The 72-year-old West Jordan woman who was injured when a small plane hit her house Saturday has died.
According to West Jordan police, Maria “Mary” Quintana, who was on the back deck of her home when the plane crashed into it, died Monday. She had been hospitalized at University of Utah Hospital after suffering burns when her house was destroyed by the fire that erupted after the crash.
The plane took off from South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan and was headed to Page, Ariz., but it crashed shortly after takeoff, barely a mile from the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.
The pilot, Lee Wyckoff, 43; his 9-month-old daughter, Coral; and a passenger, Milda Shibonis, 36, were killed. Two other passengers — Wyckoff’s wife, Rebecca, 36; and 2-year-old Cody Mitchell — both remained in critical condition Monday. Shibonis’ 12-year-old daughter, Veda, was treated at a hospital and released Saturday.
FOX 13 reported Wyckoff had just received an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) certification within the past 10 days. He once worked as Utah’s inspector general, tasked with rooting out fraud, abuse and waste in the state’s Medicaid program.
Quintana’s neighbors rushed to help her and the people aboard the airplane. Cindy Bond told FOX 13 her family was home when the plane crashed next door.
“They felt the house shake, they felt a big boom, and they went outside to see,” Bond said. “‘Oh my gosh, is it another earthquake? I don’t know what it is,' and they got out there and found out that it was a plane crash.”
Her son tried to extinguish the ensuing fire with a garden hose.
The neighbors had been “praying for dearest friend Maria (Mary) Quintana,” according to a GoFundMe page set up Sunday, the day after the Piper PA-32 plane — a single-engine aircraft — hit her home and two others in a neighborhood near 8800 South and 4000 West. “This terrible tragedy is a devastating blow and seems so surreal.”
The page raised more than $5,000 of a $50,000 goal by midmorning Monday.
Another group is raising money for the 12-year-old girl who survived the crash, which claimed her mother’s life. A second GoFundMe page set up to benefit Veda Shibonis — who “survived the crash in what can only be called a miracle” — raised about $16,000 of its $18,000 goal by midmorning Monday.
Milda Shibonis was “an incredible family law and personal injury attorney,” according to the page. “She made an instant impression on colleagues and lifelong friends at every court appearance, mediation, and phone call. Her adventurous and resilient spirit gave her the kind of stories that no one can ever forget.”
The Shibonis family issued a statement to FOX 13 saying as a child she and her family emigrated from Lithuania as refugees.
“Life was not easy and only a spirit as strong and wild as Milda’s could conquer it,” the statement said, “and she did. She trained in mixed martial arts throughout her life and valued the people in that world as family. She managed to attend and graduate law school as a new single mom, and found her place as a respected and endeared family law attorney in Utah’s legal community.”
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